Q&A with Technical Manager David Kyburz

Posted 1 November 2019

Q&A with Technical Manager David Kyburz

Q: I am considering building a single car carport, however would a single car carport be considered new work considering your advice in last weeks Q & A on the terms ‘’substantial’’ and ‘’significant’’ which are referenced in the Planning and Development Act 2007 and the Building Act 2004?

A: No, not necessarily. A single car carport may be considered as exempt from requiring approval.

There are two types of approvals for new development work—development approval (DA) and building approval (BA)

Legislation permits the exemption of some structures from requiring formal approval.

Development Approval (DA)

In general, a single car carport is exempt from requiring DA provided:

  • the roof plan area is not more than 50m²
  • there are walls on not more than 2 of the sides
  • it is not more than 3m above natural ground level (the structure can be as high as 4 metres above ground level if no part is higher than a 30° plane - see picture)
  • if it has a floor, the height of the finished floor level is not more than 0.4m above natural ground level for any part within 1.5m of a side or rear boundary and 1m above finished ground level in any other case
  • it is behind the building line.
  • Additional criteria apply if two exempt class 10 structures would be built within 1.5m of a side or rear block boundary

Building Approval (BA)

A single car carport is classified as a small open structure and does not need BA if it complies with relevant provisions of the Building (General) Regulation 2008, Schedule 1.

In general, a single car carport is exempt from requiring BA provided:

  • it has no walls
  • it is not more than 3m above ground
  • the floor level is not more than 1m above ground
  • the frame does not have an unsupported span (including any cantilever) of more than 4m
  • the roof (including a sail or sail-like element) plan area is not more than 25m

In addition to the exemption for a single car carport as I have just outlined there are other structures that may be considered exempt from requiring development approval.

For these structures must meet certain requirements such as not exceeding particular size and height etc to be considered exempt.

  • Aerials and antennas
  • Carports, shade structures and pergolas
  • Courtyard walls
  • Demolition
  • Driveways
  • Fences and freestanding walls
  • Garages, sheds, and gazebos
  • Heating and cooling installation and solar PV installations
  • Internal alterations
  • Landscape gardening
  • Letterboxes and barbeques
  • Maintenance
  • Open space boundary fences
  • Unroofed decks, patios and terraces
  • Unroofed pergolas and arbors
  • Ponds
  • Pool fencing and barriers
  • Rainwater tanks
  • Refinishing external appearance
  • Retaining walls
  • Satellite dishes
  • Second building in clearance area
  • Single dwellings
  • Skylights
  • Swimming pools

 A complete list of developments that are exempt from development approval and the relevant criteria and requirements can be found via this link. 


General Exemption Criteria

The following general exemption criteria must be met for all development approval exemptions:

1. The development must not be located in an easement (proposed or existing), utility infrastructure access or protection space without the written permission from whoever owns that space (e.g. a utility).

2. A development must not interfere with plumbing and drainage clearances.

3. The development must not breach the Tree Protection Act 2005 or cause any part of a building or structure (other than a class 10 building or structure) to be on heritage listed property or property which is the subject of a heritage agreement.

4. The development must comply with the lease.

5. The development must not increase the number of dwellings on a block to two or more dwellings.

6. The development must comply with any other criteria that apply to the development.


If you are unsure whether the proposal meets the exemption criteria I suggest that you contact Customer Service Centre on phone: (02) 6207 1923 or visit the Environment, Planning and Sustainability Development Directorate Planning shopfront located at Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis Street Dickson.

Alternatively a building surveyor could assist you in determining whether the work you are considering is exempt from requiring a development approval and/or building approval.


If you have any technical questions you may contact me on 6175 5954, mobile 0419 866 796 or via email dkyburz@mba.com.au

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